You might think from the title of today’s screed that I’m going to get into another Dylan rant. Nope. I’m just borrowing a song title from him because it was the first thing that popped into my head when I read something.
I realize that research can be boring but here is the factoid that blew my mind: 40% of Facebook accounts and 20% of Twitter accounts claiming to represent a Fortune 100 brand are unauthorized. That comes out of a research report from the good folks at Nexgate. They analyzed the 32,000 social media accounts associated with the Fortune 100 between July 2013 and June 2014 to compile their State of Social Media Infrastructure, Part 2 report. The findings are disturbing, at least to me, and should be a warning to anyone in business who manages a social media account.
It found that the average firm had 320 accounts on various platforms, but that many were false. How exactly any company, even these very big ones, can keep up with 320 accounts is beyond me although I suppose you could convince me of the need for very granular Twitter accounts, for example, with which to do customer service. 2.29 accounts per firm indicated that they had probably been hijacked, while social spam on accounts grew a staggering 658% since mid-2013. Links to porn, malicious software, and worse are rampant. I suspect that using the excuse that “it wasn’t us; it was an evil person using our good name” isn’t going to cut it.
Obviously the first thing any smart business should do is to create an inventory of legitimate accounts. From that you find the other accounts and ask that they be taken down. It’s also important not to just “set and forget” what’s going on within the real accounts. People do manage to hack their way in and spammers have figured out ways to hijack threads. In other words part of “listening” is hearing yourself as part of the conversation and taking action when your own voice seems inauthentic.